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Try this: hot lava shell massage

Lava shells. Have you used them? Similar to a hot stone massage, only much improved, the hot lava shell massage, has been attracting a lot of attention. They’ve been around a while and I always thought they were a bit gimmicky, so gave them the meh treatment, but what do I know?!

Ellie Goulding, Pixie Lott and Sir Richard B are all fans – and so, it turns out, am I.  I’ve been stooping over my computer as a journo for way more years than I care to admit, and it’s given me a delightful collection of shoulder knots so gnarly and grisly that I feel sorry for any masseuse giving me a treatment.

But when I booked in to the award-winning Idyllic Beauty Spa in Cranleigh for a treatment with Zoe, I walked in like the knobby trunk of an old crab-apple tree, and I left feeling floaty and zen… and about an inch taller. I was like a new woman – at least until an hour after I arrived home when the youngest mudlet started with what has so far been the worst bout of tummy bug ever seen in the Muddy Surrey house. Oh the joy!


But back to those hot little shells of joy. Lying on my back, anointed with deliciously scented coconut oil, I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I didn’t anticipate was the heat of the shells.

The lava shells (recycled natural tiger clam shells from the Philippines, thanks for asking) are as smooth as any hot stone treatment, but they hold onto their heat for over an hour, meaning that your therapist can provide a continuous body massage without clattering stones or having to spend time replacing them as they slide off your back.

And where hot stone treatment involves actually heating up the stones, the warmth in the lava shells comes from a reaction inside them when you mix a mineral with water. Better still they can use the edge of the shell to really break down the knots in your back. Zoe used both her hands and the shells, working down into the muscles. She said the heat allows you to go much deeper into the muscles.

Zoe was lovely – very calm, quiet and centred and really good at handling those little shells of joy. I can’t quite remember if I floated off to sleep, but I wafted deliciously somewhere between the conscious and unconscious – and the room was tantalisingly dark and warm. I could have stayed there all afternoon.


Instead, I went to the relaxation room where I was brought a small fruit platter and lay back for a moment to enjoy the silence. It turned out to be the calm before the storm. But I was relaxed and ready to handle anything.

Hot lava shells relaxing body massage £90 for 90 mins, £65 for 60 mins; hot lava shells back and tummy massage £55 for 45 mins, hot lava shells back massage £45 for 30 mins.

Idyllic Beauty Spa, 3 Kent House, 75 High Street, Cranleigh, Surrey, GU6 8AU.




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